Millikin University is bringing two former congressmen, a Democrat and a Republican, to speak on the implications of the 2012 presidential election on Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 7:30 p.m. in Richards Treat University Center on the Millikin campus. This event is free and open to the public and is the 2012 Thomas W. Ewing Lectureship.
The appearances of Jack Buechner (R-Mo.) and William Robert Roy (D-Kansas) are made possible through the Congress to Campus program, a program designed to connect former members of Congress with college students. The program made its debut at Millikin in 2008 during the previous presidential election. Fueled by a growing concern about young adults’ lack of interest in government and voting, the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress created the program to bring students into contact with former congressmen who can share their insights and experiences about working for the U.S. government. Over the course of two days, the former congressmen conduct lectures and meet with students and faculty, delivering a message about the importance of bipartisan cooperation and encouraging students to become involved in public service.
Former U.S. Congressman Jack Buechner, a St. Louis native, is the retired president and CEO of "A Presidential Classroom for Young Americans,” a nonprofit organization that seeks to prepare young leaders for responsible citizenship and provide outstanding high school students the chance to explore the political process firsthand.
A former U.S. Representative from Kirkwood, Mo., Buechner served Missouri’s 2nd District (St. Louis/St. Charles Counties) from 1987–1991. During his terms, he was vice-chairman of the Republican Study Committee and Deputy Whip to former Speaker Newt Gingrich. Buechner also served on the Budget Committee and the Committee on Science, Space and Technology.
From 1972 to 1983, Buechner was a state representative and minority leader in the Missouri House of Representatives and served as a Missouri Tourism Commissioner. Prior to that, he founded his own law firm in St. Louis and practiced law for 18 years before being elected to Congress.
In demand as a consultant, Buechner is also past president of the United States Association of Former Members of Congress, is of counsel to the law firm of Anderson Kill & Olick, and serves as senior counsel to the Virginia public affairs firm, The Hawthorn Group. He has represented the United States throughout the world at conferences on post Cold War developments, including The World Conference of Parliamentarians in Support of The United Nations.
Buechner earned his bachelor’s degree from St. Benedict’s College in Atchison, Kansas, and his law degree from St. Louis University in Missouri. He currently lives in McLean, Va.
William Robert Roy, a Bloomington, Ill., native, is a former U.S. representative from Kansas, a retired physician and a columnist for The Topeka Capital-Journal.
He earned his bachelor’s degree from Illinois Wesleyan University, a second bachelor’s degree and his medical degree from Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago and later earned a law degree from Washburn University Law School in Topeka, Kan. After medical school, he served in the U.S. Air Force for two years and was a military doctor at Forbes Air Force Base in Topeka, discharged with the rank of captain.
After practicing medicine in Topeka for 15 years, he was elected to Congress as a Democrat, serving four years. In 1974, he was an unsuccessful candidate for election to the U.S. Senate in a bitter race against Bob Dole, losing by only a few thousand votes. He ran for the U.S. Senate again in 1978 but lost to Nancy Kassebaum. He resumed practicing medicine in Topeka until 1989 and lives in Topeka.
The Thomas W. Ewing Lectureship was created by Millikin University and Congressman Ewing’s colleagues in recognition of his many years of public service. Ewing, a 1957 Millikin graduate, retired in 2001 after serving nine years in the U.S. House of Representatives from the 15th District of Illinois. Ewing served 17 years in the Illinois House of Representatives, where he was assistant Republican leader from 1982-1990 and was named deputy minority leader in 1990.
During his political career, Ewing received numerous state and national awards from business, education, environment, senior citizen and agriculture organizations. He has been recognized for his leadership in the areas of crime prevention, welfare reform, economic growth and health care. Ewing is currently of counsel with Davis and Harman LLP, a law firm in Washington, D.C.
Previous speakers have included Robert F. Kennedy Jr., environmental advocate; Former House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert; and Peter Hoekstra, Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. The lectures focus on public policy and service, and visiting lecturers are selected based on their prominence in those fields as well as their ability to inspire others to serve.
For more information on the event, call 217.424.6383.